So, someone has used up all of the hot water just before you were about to jump in the shower or use the hot water for some other purpose. It’s disappointing to wait for a bit and start showering, only to run out of hot water again before you’re finished. How long should you wait to let the water heater refill and maximize the time you can run the shower for? It depends. We’ll go through the answer and what you can do to avoid this situation in the future below.
How Long Should You Wait?
It depends on the type of water heater you have. An electric heater will heat up very slowly as compared to a gas unit. Those with electric heaters may need to wait an hour, or even two, in order to get the benefit of a full tank of hot water for their shower. It depends on the number of elements in the heater and their wattage.
A gas water heater should heat back up in 30 to 40 minutes. It depends on the specific model, its draw efficiency and the temperature setting. A lower temperature will be reached slightly faster than a higher temperature, so if you know you have a lower setting, you can jump in early. Also, if you know that you won’t use all the water in the tank for your shower, you can jump in a little early.
Overall, if you have to ballpark it, wait 40 minutes for a gas heater and two hours for an electric heater.
Conserving Shower Heat
If you have an important event that you need to run out to and need to try to finish your shower right now, you can always just take a colder one than normal to try to preserve it. Start off as cold as you can comfortably tolerate, and that temperature of water should last longer. That’s because showerheads work by mixing in hot and cold water. The more cold water you canmix in, then the longer the tank’s remaining reserve of hot water will last.
A Better Solution: Tankless Water Heaters
When strategizing about how long you need to wait for your water heater to fill up becomes a regular occurrence, then you might want to think about choosing a more permanent solution. A tankless water heater may be an excellent solution. They provide an endless stream of hot water so that you can shower as long as you like or use other appliances and fixtures that are heavy on hot-water use back-to-back.
A tankless water heater can also be more energy-efficient than a tank version. These heaters only warm-up water when you are actually using water instead of maintaining the temperature of a great deal of water in a tank. You, therefore, have more control over how much energy your tankless water heater uses and can shorten your showers if you want to cut costs.